26 Apr 2015

Carra warns: Liverpool must not sign 'extraordinary' £25m midfield maestro because he's a 'crock'

Last week, Jurgen Klopp announced his intention to quit Borussia Dortmund this summer, and as is usually the case, a new manager often means a mini-exodus of players brought in under the previous regime. Dortmund have a whole raft of players coveted by rival teams, and Ilkay Gundogan is one of those players expected to follow Klopp out of the club. Both Liverpool and Manchester United are currently linked with a move for Gundogan, but Anfield legend Jamie Carragher has warned against signing the German international.

The Daily Express recently reported:

* Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool are 'extremely interesting' in signing Ilkay Gundogan.

* The 'extraordinary' German international wants a move to the Premier League at the end of the season.

Reacting to the news, Carra tweeted the following to his Sky Sports cohort, Gary Neville:

"Looks like you're signing a crock [Gundogan] who can't get a game for Dortmund".

Liverpool were linked with Gundogan during the January transfer window, and at the time, the £25m-rated midfielder revealed his ambition to play in England. He told reporters:

"Playing outside Germany is one of my big goals. If one day I leave here, I'd like to play in Spain or for one of the big teams in England."

Sporting director Michael Zorc, Dortmund wants to keep Gundogan at the club. This week, he told reporters

"We want to continue to work with Ilkay and will continue with the [new contract] talks."

Carra is absolutely right, though: Gundogan is a 'crock', and should be avoided at all costs:

* 13 separate injuries since 2010. 13!
* 501 days (16.7 months) on the sidelines.
* 108 games missed in that time.
* Recently spent 403 days out with a spinal injury.

In my view, irrespective of talent/potential, Liverpool should avoid any player with a significant injury history. In fact, this should be one of the club's official transfer policies. It's just not worth it, and the club is already crawling with perpetual sicknotes.

This summer, it's imperative that Liverpool sign strong, robust players with no recent injury history.

Author:



83 comments:

  1. In the summer all sorts of player are going to be attracted to LFC and the other big clubs. The trick should be to identify the gaps in our squad and to try and plug them with the best talent we can afford as quickly as possible.

    It also depends on whether BR stays or go. If for the moment we assume he is staying (ie no MAJOR overhaul by a new face) then I believe BR's main priorities should be:

    1. Stiker (Lacazette - £25m)
    2. DM (Kondogbia - £10m)
    3. GK (Cech - £7m)
    4. AM (Depay - £20m).

    That's an approx £60m outlay. Will FSG trust BR with that type of investment.

    Then the remaining buys will need to come out of player sales/leaves (of which there may be as many as 9).

    So then there may be places for the likes of Ings and Milner and and maybe a CB cover (Alderweireld would seem a good bet).

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  2. spot on. he is a brilliant player and having people like him in our team will help us get more stars. however, theres better players out there, just with less status. i think even Joao Moutinho with all his experience and quality would be a fantastic signing even at £20M.


    we need to buy 2 elite strikers, 2 pacey wingers with end product, a defensive midfielder and 2 full backs.


    even without CL Football, if we can spend £100M plus on players, they can be quality if we buy them all at once and show their part of a new project at LFC. Sell Sterling ASAP and promote Ibe instantly. buy Alex Lacazette for £30M. buy Luciano Vietto for £13M release clause. Buy Geoffrey Kondogbia for £20M. Buy Memphis Depay for £20M. Buy Yarmolenko(far better and experienced than Bolasie) for £15M. Buy Serge Aurier for £10M. Bertrand for £15M. total: £113M. sell Sterling and Borini and recoup some of budget.


    then next year we can have an elite 11 capable of challenging for the title, with hungry squad players to fill in if needed


    -------------------------------------Mingolet
    Aurier-------------Skrtel-----------------Sakho------------Bertrand
    ---------------------Can/Hendo---------Kondogbia
    Yarmolenko---------------------Coutinho-----------------Depay
    ------------------------------------Lacazette


    subs on. Ibe for Yarmolenko or Depay, Can/Hendo, Vietto for Lacazette


    a front three of Yarmolenko/Lacazette and Depay gives us up to 70 goals. and with Coutinho at the heart, his assist count will finally look like Ozil, Iniesta and Fabregas. Kondogbia will give us the robust Viera we need. And Bertrand and Aurier should take the full-back positions for years to come. not many good ones out there, Bertrand is a good skillful and defensive fullback and Aurier the same. if Lacazette got injured, we can play Vietto who is an elite striker and also bangs goals. and they will rotate. Vietto can play Europa league games as well. and if we buy these players, we can challenge for title, mark my words.

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  3. perfect. but we can skip on cech. we need to buy a second choice for Mingolet. he wants to fight for LFC, we need players that want to fight for LFC, not like sterling. add to that list Aurier, Bertrand, Vietto and another winger and we rolling.


    we will probably have to pay £30M for Lacazette as other clubs will bid and we need to make statement. Kondogbia will probably be £20M. but forget the price. we need to make these signings. were LFC and need galaticos. we cant afford to go into the wilderness. our current team of Lallana, Markovic, gerrard, allen, sterling is not good enough.

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  4. It seems that you want to change the entire first team. I don't think 100m is enough for that. Besides if I was FSG I would think long and hard about giving BR money, let alone 100m.

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  5. Errm.. pls dont get me started on Mignolet. Brilliant shot stopper, but average on crosses and awful on distribution.

    For any team that wishes to play football from the back then Mignolet is not the answer.

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  6. Abd Hamid Abd Karim8:55 pm, April 26, 2015

    Gerrard will not be around next season and I agree with you that Sterling should be sold his refusal to extend his contract and interview has disrupted LFC season.

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  7. Following the miserable return from last summers £100m+ investment, I too believe FSG will be hesitant to splash another £100m this year.



    Even the £60m I've suggested below may be the upper limit of what they are considering.


    Also, the matter of whether they trust BR with the transfer kitty or a new man.

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  8. His distribution has improved recently, in my opinion. Though I concede the team would benefit from better speed-of-thought from Migs in that department, he has earned the right to continue.


    And let's not forget that has 3 more clean sheets for the season than David De Gea (who was just named in the EPL team of the season). For me, Migs is Liverpool's player of the season; recognition of a remarkable turnaround in form.

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  9. As much as I will concede he's turned his season around for which he needs credit, I still see too many hoofs go straight out of touch or kicks in field that simply put us back on the defensive.

    Not good enough and we need an upgrade.

    Additionally, the clean sheet stat should be shared between the whole defence, and not just the keeper.

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  10. Abd Hamid Abd Karim9:13 pm, April 26, 2015

    I think Yarmolenko is a free agent at the end of the season. Your line up looks good of all the players you have mentioned Lacazette and Kondogbia may not want to come to LFC without CL.

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  11. We have to be clever this summer and don't try to fix all areas of the squad otherwise we buy 5 or 6 mediocre players. Let's get 2 or 3 top players instead. Make Depay and Lacazette our top 2 targets, then look to get in someone like Kondogbia. Once we have these 2 or 3 then look to plug some gaps if funds are still available from our budget/sales. I would be looking at Milner and Neto on frees.
    Sometimes you have to make do in some positions, look at Chelsea up front this season. After Costa they have Remy and Drogba, hardly great but I'm sure they'll re-address that this summer with new funds available

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  12. Our player awards should be cancelled this year. There isn't a player in the squad worthy of an award this season. Some have been better than others but worthy of an award? No

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  13. No that is Konoplyanka you are thinking about, still a decent buy though.

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  14. If you look across the whole season then the only two players who stand out for player of the year are Skrtel and Courtinho.

    Other players who played well when picked or not injured include Lucas, Ibe and Can.

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  15. Yep agree with your post. I'd just add a stand-out GK as one of the urgent gaps.

    We'd be shaky still in the full back positions (having to make do in your analogy) and maybe still be on the look out for a pacey CB to cover round the back when Skrtel is out of position, but as you rightly point out neither can we afford more nor integrate more.

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  16. Then perhaps an alternative set of awards including 'biggest defensive blunder', 'worst miss' and 'craziest rush-of-blood-to-the-head moment'? We'll be spoiled for choice.

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  17. Kondogbia 10m, you might get his right boot for that!

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  18. I think we're ok with Mignolet for the time being, a freebie backup keeper like Neto would be my choice, freeing up funds for the main targets.

    I think players like Wisdom and Ilori will have roles to play in positions that we might not be able to strengthen. Possibly McLaughlin and Brad Smith too, but sometimes you find they step up to the plate more than expected which potentially saves you money in the next transfer window

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  19. "Stirling" should be in line for a host of awards at this star studded night

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  20. Regarding Illaramendi and his willingness to come to us if we are not in CL next season. He came from the small pond of Sociedad to bright lights of Madrid, and it is not working for him the way it should. He knows he can be the next big thing in Spain national team and playing 35% of minutes will not get him there. Better to play all match against chelski in young and promising team of Liverpool than watching a CB play in his position in the most important game of the season(Ramos as DM vs Atleti.
    Xabi Alonso link might came in handy too.

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  21. Last season we had to buy a bunch of players as in the previous season we had 13 players in rotation and lost the best. This season is about two or three really good ones. Very good tactic, but we needed to make sure to get another top4, and that was very much achieveble with this squad.

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  22. Undoubtedly. RAY and 50+ years have already cast multiple votes.

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  23. So I've been looking at the current squad. If we assume the following simple rules:

    1. Best formation to play 4-2-3-1
    2. Need two players per position
    3. Plus one youngster per position
    4. Try to promote a promising "scouser" whenever possible

    Then:

    GK: Cech; Mignolet, Ward

    RB: Flanagan, Manquillo, McLaughlin
    LB: Moreno, Enrique, Smith
    RCB: Skrtel, BLANK, Wisdom
    LCB: Sakho, Lovren, Illori

    DM: Kondogbia, Lucas, Rossiter
    CM: Henderson, Can, Brannagan

    RW: Sterling, Ibe, Sinclair
    AM: Courtinho, Lallana, Teixeira
    LW: Depay, Markovic, Ojo

    Striker: Lacazette, Sturridge, Origi

    Also would still like to find a home for Dunn.

    This means unfortunately the axe for the following:

    Jones, Johnson,
    Coates, Toure, Allen, Gerrard. Alberto, Aspas, Borini, Balotelli, Borini, Yesil and Lambert.

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  24. What happened Orme? Another ban?

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  25. Yep. Deserved though.. Sniping.

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  26. Erm played well in some games... but then gave the ball away in critical moments in other more meaningful games.

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  27. hahahahaha... When I come next season to Liverpool(no, not to play)- we must have a pint?

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  28. I'm going to rename you Virgil Hilts, 'Cooler king'.

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  29. None of his mistakes lead to a goal(maybe one, not sure) It is luck but sometimes it was him to make amends- like Blackburn, a slide tackle after losing posession and two head clearances after the resulting corner and a cross. And the luck is well deserved. Our attacks areso much more fluent when he plays as the ball doesn't have to reach Couts for something to happen.. He is outstanding, hehe..

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  30. I think you need to watch 'The Great Escape'. Terrific film by the way, if you've never seen it.

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  31. I know.. writing my letter to Santa as we speak ;-)

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  32. Edit: Wow..

    Second edit: And my real photo...

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  33. I will, most certainly..

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  34. For Christ's sake, if only we beat WBA, then we'd be 5 points behind United with a game in hand....

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  35. Last season it was title points vs WBA..

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  36. Sturridge has 'most injured' in the bag but 'worst transfer' and 'least impact' are still up for grabs

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  37. Ha ha, stiff competition indeed In those categories. But how about a special recognition 'lifetime underachievement' gong for Johnson?

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  38. Doesn't really matter. Palace (A), Arsenal (H), and Hull (A) could do us some favours against United. But, we'd still have to win at Chelsea. Yeah....

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  39. Illaramendi would be a top signing for us. Just the level of midfielder we need. He can bring Isco and Carvajal along.

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  40. Definitely. He can add it to his trio of 'least motivated' awards

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  41. No brainer, no thanks.

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  42. Lacazette has already committed himself to staying at Lyon next season...Wants to play CL with his boyhood club. Would have been a great signing though....

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  43. I always love it when people call a GK a great shot stopper.. Surely thats the minimum requirement for a GK...

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  44. My thoughts exactly.

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  45. There are a couple of footballers higher up on my 'avoid signing' list.

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  46. Sakho and Mignolet deserve some credit, but the rest have been horrifically inconsistent, so yeah I agree.

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  47. Kyriagos Papadopolous from Schalke would be high on it...

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  48. Funny; I was just reading an article about that player before I returned to this page and saw your comment.


    Definitely high up, although he is apparently on a free, so maybe worth a gamble.

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  49. I read €7m with Bayer offering £4.4m... Either way, sadly for him, no ta!

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  50. If there's a price involved, then yeah, no ta!

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  51. Walcott is a sicknote as well. One to avoid.

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  52. Even with a new manager i don't think FSG will splash the cash. The action would be to sell players and buy with the profit. Perhaps FSG may sanction a fee for one important target.

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  53. Injured again .
    No thanks .

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  54. yep i'll never forget kolos fail against WBA.
    At this point I said to me:" if we fail to achieve something this year (I thought of qualifing for CL at that time) I will remember this game as one of the main reasons

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  55. We need better defenders than Enrique and Wisdom. I like your thinking but Lallana and Markovic are empty suits. We need better production than those guys have shown.......

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  56. You are definately the most optimistic supporter on this site - considering Liverpool have bought close to 20 players in the last 2/3 years and all are on long term contracts/inflated wages please explain which other club is going to take them to make room for these new signings?

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  57. Very similar thinking to me.
    Be nice if we did get Cech but if it was a backup GK then I'd still be ok with that.

    I also think Ilori for the BLANK, Lloyd Jones can cover.

    I'd sell Enrique as well, he's always injured and taking selfies

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  58. Didn't say nobody deserves any credit but an award is pushing it

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  59. Like I have said he had two of the best DMs in the league in front if him. In fact Sotos defence is better now than it was then. Were those DMs in that team of the year? I know Lallana was. I don't see you defending so so vehemently. For the record I was in favour of his signing when I hoped it was to replace Skrtel but Rodgers was wanting to replace the wrong man and Lovren's Liverpool record is undeniably poor. So we're they idiots? No as that would make me one too. Were we all wrong? Seems like that is the case yes.

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  60. He wasn't the player we all hoped he would be, he didn't hit the ground running, but , on the other hand , he wasn't this "unmitigated disaster" and "a laughng stock" some claim him to be.. to next season I say

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  61. Well Liverpool recorded 13 clean sheets this season so one could say that defending is a lot better this year- and we have Lovren in the team this year so there are a few ways of looking at it... I don't think neither Schneiderlin or Wanyama were in the team of the year- unfair? Maybe ,but there are experts who deduce these conclusions and take in account singular players effect (clearance, blocking, tackling, heading, interception) throughout the season so maybe they weren't all that wrong, it's exact science- I'm saying Rodger's coaching is to blame and if he doesn't place a dedicated DM next season neither Lovren, Skrtel or Sakho (stalwarts in their national teams) will show anything resembling defense- for the record I place Lovren and Sakho ahead of Skrtel ability wise

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  62. Rogers wastes so much money by either buying overrated youngsters such as Luis Alberto and Tiago Llori or just flat out overpaying for average players like Ballotelli, Lallana, Lovern, Sakho, Borini, Allen etc etc that list could go on and on. I'd be shocked if they gave him more to spend this summer. If you look at the squad, how many of the players he's brought in can you look at and say they were worth the money? Sturridge, Coutinho and Can? The rest of his 15 million+ signings have all been expensive flops. He's starting to do a Benitez the way he demands more money to strengthen the squad, even though he's been given a fortune and wasted it.

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  63. Is that being injured taking selfies ;-)

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  64. Agree but again, it depends on how much FSG cough up to spend. I believe even the four potential key signings will cost in the region of £60m. Any further addition will cost more money.

    And ultimately you cannot keep buying 7-8 players a season and expect them to gel. It did not work for Spurs post Bale, and we learnt the same lesson post Suarez.

    Buy less but top quality.

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  65. That's a hollow argument. We were playing with three at the back for most of those. How many clean sheets has Lovren been a part in?
    Experts? Who picked the team of the year? He had a good year does that mean he is good? Lots of players have good seasons. Plus tactical awareness is sonething that there are no statistics for but is arguably the most important part of departure defending. It's not an exact science. Not at all. It's a foolish thing to say.

    We agree about Rodgers problems with defending and needing a DM.

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  66. As I said there are a few ways of looking at it- well u claim there is no way of accurately stratifing players ability and effect, so u disregard facts and arguments which lead to individual player awards; I think I rest my case

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  67. Then harry redknapp for all I care.we just need change. It sad that we have no worldclass players in our squad. No characters what so ever. They are like school children.

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  68. I don't disregard the facts argument I am saying it is part of the picture and the more important part has no possible metric to cover it. Are you suggesting tactical intelligence and positioning are not important? Your case is poo.

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  69. So u'r saying some player is class and other is rubbish based purely on u saying so?! Without any chance whatsoever to quantify that players input meaning Squawka and WhoScored are bunch of diletants, and we should all just take your oponion as a given?

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  70. No I am saying there are aspects fo a game that are near if not completely impossible to put in to numbers. I am saying these are very important and we should not ignore them because we have stats. The stats are just part of the picture. What I garner from What I see is obviously just by opinion.
    As for those stats compilers I tend to reference them a lot but there is more information currently about forwards than their are about defenders. Even the stats for the forwards are incomplete. I think Whoscored's ratings are pretty much meaningless on the whole. It is scores they weighted for specific parts of the games but neglecting others. It is essentially their compilers opinions. My very good friend teaches maths, he has a decorate and a first from a red brick uni. He is the smartest person I know and his opinion on stats are that they are just indicators, just parts of the whole picture. Stats without context and counter facts are not as useful as people think. I have that same opinion. With football so.much is not in the numbers that it comes down to what you as a.person see. But the stats do.show some of the picture and are useful to talk about that snapshot.

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  71. Just wrote a long post about what I think and lost it. If I can be bothered another time I will write it again.

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  72. I am saying that stats that only show paet of the picture are only showing part of the picture. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of my stats teaching friend. I use Whoscored and Squawker for their stats to talk about those individual characteristics. I think Whoscored's ratings are near nonsense especially when it comes to defenders for the reasons i have stated. It is weighted on individual actions that they set a metric for. It ignores huge parts of the game and so is little more than the opinion of the compilers. Their ratings imply performance based on stats but it's not the whole picture.
    Also you answered my question with a question. Are you saying positioning, and tactical awareness are not important?

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  73. How is number of tackles, won headers, interceptions someone's opinion and not a fact?! I agree it's not the whole picture but it is a correct representation of a player's cumulative effect on the pitch for the duration of a game be it defender or attacker- if a defender is lauded for a specific number of won tackles or aerial duels, so is forward lauded for number of his clear cut chances and the percentage of shots on target he converts in goals. And don't get me started on positioning and tactical awareness- common denominator for the two is interception for a defender; nullifying and sniffing out the attacking threat before it actually develops, and collecting loose passes in the channels. As for attackers positioning and tactical awareness means nose for scoring goals or fox in the box as the English put it- essentially in the right place in the right time to put the ball in the back of the net- so as u can see this is all fairly simple and precise...

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  74. Because those things are factored in when there are no metrics for other things like tactics and positioning. That means those other things are seen as more important which can be no more than their opinion. It's half the stats. Cumulative suggests the all the aspects added up. Which you agree they are not. It is right that those things are lauded but not as the be all and end all. If a player is way out of position l, but his but another player buys him time to get back to make.a tackle he is lauded for that tackle but he should be lambasted for the position he took up. If like Skrtel you drop back further and further creating more.space between midfield and defence for opposition to run in to to have a go at goal, you get the credit if you make the final block but you should be criticised for the dropping off. This is not reflected in stats as it doesn't currently have a metric.
    Interceptions can be an indicator but that doesn't show the whole picture. It shows a reading of the game and playing on the front foot but if you do that, like Lovren was at the start of the season and still does occasionally and your partner has a propensity to drop off then again there are gaps that are being left and if (again like Lovren) you mistime and miss some fo those you leave us exposed.
    So you can see it is not simple and lacks precision.

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  75. I see front foot defending as propulsive, modern, aggressive art of defending and do not slate Lovren for it- on the contrary. More balanced co-defender like Sakho and a dedicated DM would support such defending; defending he was obviously purchased for, it is not his fault he was bought to do one thing yet has no support in doing said thing.

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  76. So do I. But doing it at odds with the rest of defence is obviously wrong. Also missing too high a percentage of those attempted tackles and Interceptions is obviously wrong. Making loaf's of errors, some of which led to goals is wrong. Overly passing back to the keeper who isn't that good with his feet is wrong. Passing toothache keepers bad foot too often is wrong. Challenging for a ball that is obviously your colleagues to take is wrong.
    I would love him to succeed but he has done plenty wrong that was his fault and no one else's.

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  77. He upped his passing in last few games which was obviously confidence based as were those missed tackles and interceptions- something which was compounded by the lack of DM protection and miscommunication with fellow defenders (he missed pre-season mind u), and his dropping out of squad coincided with change of formation and more midfield protection in which Sakho and Skrtel obviously revelled... It was a rocky season one brought on by collapse in form and settling in, as a result of lack of confidence and not talent as u try to imply

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  78. So it's OK because he has a fragile confidence and it effects his game dramatically? Since his upturn I haven't seen a great defender. I have seen an OK defender with the odd calamity in him. His beat game has been against a team who barely attacked.

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  79. He looks like someone who is trying hard and doesn't take well when not playing well- his best game was vs WBA and yet had much to do; and he had good "big games" vs City and Soton in the second half of the season in a settled back three

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